EOCO orders DVLA to retrieve 18m cedis from Foto-X

An investigation by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) into contracts between the Driver and Vehicular Licensing Authority (DVLA) and a license-printing company Foto-X has revealed an overpayment of more than 18 million Ghana cedis to the latter.

The EOCO report, which has been intercepted by Joy News, also cites former DVLA boss, Justice Amegashie for gross negligence and orders the retrieval of the money from Foto-X.

Joy News’ Kwetey Nartey who has been following the issue gave a brief background to the contract.

He said in 2006 the DVLA entered into a contract with Foto-X and Digimarc to produce drivers license.

Foto-X and Digimarc were to invest an amount of 2,772,000 US dollars. In return they were to take 80% of revenue that would accrue from the issuance of the drivers license, while the DVLA was entitled to 20%. That contract was to last for 6 years. It expired in 2012 but the signing of another contract has encountered some issues and has consequently led to the overpayment of some 18.3 million cedis, the DVLA has concluded.

With the exchange rate of $1 to GHc2, the amount invested by the contractor USD2,772,000, profit inclusive, amounted to GHc5,544,000.

However, Foto-X was paid a total of GHc 20,961,785. The overpaid amount is therefore GHc15,417,785. EOCO wants this amount retrieved as overpayment

The EOCO report also says Foto-X was again paid GHc2, 892,223 making 18.3 million Ghana cedis.

What does the EOCO report say is the role of Justice Amegashie in this?

According to EOCO Justice Amegashie can be held responsible for gross negligence which led to the overpayment of the 15.4 million cedis and the reimbursement of consumables in the sum of 2.8 million cedis.

Joy News contacted the lawyer for Justice Amegashie but he said his client is yet to be served a copy of this report and he could not comment without seeing a copy.

The EOCO report also suggests that Foto-X won the second contract based on fraud? How does it explain this?

EOCO says its investigation revealed that the contract document stated an investment sum of 9.9 million dollars instead of the 3.6 million approved by the Public Procurement Authority.

It says the conduct of Mr. Ian Kluvitse, Chief Executive of Foto-X, amounts to altering of contract document. The contract document, the EOCO report indicated was procured on fraud, which nullifies everything. It further stated Mr Kluvitse can be held liable for fraud.

This report was addressed to the Transport Minister on September 17, 2015. Joy News is informed that the minister forwarded the report to the DVLA board and is waiting for a response on the action the board intends to take.

But Joy News gathered that the board and management of DVLA is recommending a review of the contract awarded Foto-X.

Foto-X response

Ian Kluvitse, the Chief Exective of Foto-X, told Joy FM’s Newsnight Tuesday that he was yet to see a copy of the EOCO report.

He finds it strange that neither the transport ministry nor DVLA has contacted him on the issue but the media.

He denied receiving any money from the DVLA or any government agency since 2012. He would also not mention the exact amount his company has invested into the partnership.

He was however emphatic that whatever the amount that is being peddled in the media is rather what his company invested in the contract. He also confirmed that the parties agreed on 80% for Foto-X and 20% for DVLA on revenues that would acrue from the cards he printed.

When asked about his motivation for still working with the DVLA after the latter defaulted in payment for three years, Mr. Kluvitse said he is “working with the hope of getting paid”.

Responding to claims by the DVLA that the $9.9 million quoted was a typographical error, Mr. Kluvitse said the company has nothing to do with any inflated figure. The contracts, he explained, were submitted to the DVLA in February 2012 but the contract was signed in August 2012.

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